Pavitra Rishta

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Pavitra Rishta
Pavitra Rishta

PR Reloaded- II (FF) Note on pg. 76- do read! (Page 47)

LoveSushAnki Goldie
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Posted: 25 January 2012 at 11:52am | IP Logged
Video nt available on mobile..Unhappy

suan IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 25 January 2012 at 1:06pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by lunza

i thought i remember sharon di saying she caught up with all the parts .. Confused
 
 
Hi Lunza,
I had planned to read all the parts from the beginning, but haven't done it.Embarrassed
suan IF-Rockerz
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Posts: 9333

Posted: 25 January 2012 at 1:11pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by -varun-

hi MSH,Smile

i so would also like to read ur FFs but the problem is that i have missed all the earlier postsOuch and now i wont be able to follow the current track...Stern Smile

MSH, meri mushkil hal karo !!!! Confused
 
 
 
Varun,
Trust me, Nikita's FF is a MUST read!
Though I missed the first 70+ parts, I easily caught up with the story. It's not hard to do and I guarantee you, you will be hooked for life from your first reading.
It's nothing like the lame writing on the real PR. Far from it.
If Nikita was writing the real PR, it would NEVER leave the #1 spot!

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Lumos

bonnefille IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 29 January 2012 at 11:04am | IP Logged
Hey Niks!!!!

Its become a ritual with me having to vanish after you update and then give you a really late feedback. Embarrassed

Thanks for the lovely update...every time you come up with a new part of the fan-fic, it refreshes all the reasons for why I fell in love with ArMan.     

They are "Purrfect" improvized version of my oldie-goldie ArMan!!!

I loved how Archana scolded Manav while trying to make sense to him. I like how their relationship is growing and how cozy their conversations have become. Interactions between ArMan has always been my favourite parts of your fanfic. It has maturity yet playfulness of a young couple. I found it extremely amusing to the conclusion Manav made of Archana's "making up". Interesting!!! Evil SmileLOL

I love Atya's character...a much needed one in Manav's household. Atya would take off the responsibility off Manav to be the one to look after others. I can't imagine Damodar taking responsibility of the house...waiting to read how that comes up! It will be nice to see Manav having the father he always wished to have. 

When you started with the film game...I thought it will lead to a game of dumb charades where Manav would have to enact her romantic film for Archana. But I really liked your version of romantic scene of Manav overhearing about the sari...it was fresh, sweet and also a lead on for the story to progress. 

I really want the Varsha truth to come out...hope it does in the next part. *finger-crossed*      

Hope to read your update soon...the only interesting feature I look forward to regarding "Pavitra Rishta".   

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dhahiahaanfannikitagmc

nikitagmc IF-Sizzlerz
nikitagmc
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Posted: 13 February 2012 at 11:31pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by bonnefille

Hey Niks!!!!

Its become a ritual with me having to vanish after you update and then give you a really late feedback. EmbarrassedI know, and ironically enough it's become a ritual of mine to read your feedback and revert back to it late.LOL

Thanks for the lovely update...every time you come up with a new part of the fan-fic, it refreshes all the reasons for why I fell in love with ArMan.     

They are "Purrfect" improvized version of my oldie-goldie ArMan!!! You think so? Aww.. thanks!Embarrassed

I loved how Archana scolded Manav while trying to make sense to him. I like how their relationship is growing and how cozy their conversations have become. Interactions between ArMan has always been my favourite parts of your fanfic. It has maturity yet playfulness of a young couple. I found it extremely amusing to the conclusion Manav made of Archana's "making up". Interesting!!! Evil SmileLOL Manav is not so holy in this FF, after all.Wink

I love Atya's character...a much needed one in Manav's household. Atya would take off the responsibility off Manav to be the one to look after others. I can't imagine Damodar taking responsibility of the house...waiting to read how that comes up! It will be nice to see Manav having the father he always wished to have. 

When you started with the film game...I thought it will lead to a game of dumb charades where Manav would have to enact her romantic film for Archana. But I really liked your version of romantic scene of Manav overhearing about the sari...it was fresh, sweet and also a lead on for the story to progress. 

I really want the Varsha truth to come out...hope it does in the next part. *finger-crossed*      I know all of you want the Varsha truth to come out soon, all I can say is that it will come out at the right time and in a way which makes sense. While I too want the whole thing to get cleared soon, I also want ArMan to bond a little so that it doesn't look like they are together cos the truth came out. Their being together should be a culmination of all type of reasons.

Hope to read your update soon...the only interesting feature I look forward to regarding "Pavitra Rishta".   Updating in a few minutes!LOL



Edited by nikitagmc - 14 February 2012 at 2:19am

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ahaanfan

nikitagmc IF-Sizzlerz
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Posted: 13 February 2012 at 11:37pm | IP Logged
 
 

PART 77:

SUNDAY STORY

It was a bright Sunday morning. After the enthusiastic morning Aarti at the Ganpati pandal, the chawl dwellers had pretty much returned to their usual morning routine- washing clothes, reading the papers, doing odd jobs which were kept aside to be done on a holiday. A couple of them, in the meanwhile, were readying out their colours and designs for the rangoli and mehndi competitions to be held later.

In all this, however, it was the Deshmukh house, which was enveloped in a different issue altogether.

********************************

Manav shook his head as he took in the scene in front of him again. Better than what he had expected, but still..

After the previous night's discussion with Atya, Manav had finally accepted that from a practical POV, it would be better to tell everyone about his illness. They had decided that it would be better to tell the very next day, since it was a Sunday, and the whole family would be at home.

Atya had taken charge. In an emotional undertone, yet keeping control on herself, she had told the kids and Aai what they needed to know. Manav had spoken in between, adding in more details about his illness, trying his best to assure them that he would get well very soon, meanwhile all of them needed to be mentally prepared for the surgery and its implications on the household.

Vandita had burst out crying and had to be comforted by Manav, Damodar as well as Atya. Vedant had not cried (thankfully!) but had appeared extremely pensive and asked lots of questions to his Dada, some of which Manav had no answer to, leaving Vedant extremely uncomfortable and worried. Damodar had tried his best to comfort him.

Only Savita had been quiet. She had not spoken a word. No one had pestered her, and though Manav had found it odd, he too had not said anything. He had been waiting for her response, but it had not come. Not in front of him at least.

Presently Manav came out of his thoughts, as he glanced around himself. Archana was standing by Atya's side, while Atya comforted Vandita, who was still sniffing.

"Come on now Vandu," said Atya. "Behave like a big girl now, you have to be brave and strong for your Dada- he will get well soon and come back after the surgery.."

Vandita somehow couldn't control herself even though she tried hard to stop her tears from coming out. "Manav Dada will be operated.." she repeated and hid herself in her Atya's arms.

"Stop crying now Vandu.." said Archana, fondling Vandita's head. For once, Vandu did not react, too engrossed was she in thinking about her Manav Dada, tears streaming down his face.

Manav felt uncomfortable. This was what he had feared all along- this reaction. "All of you please don't make things more difficult.", he finally said. "It's not like I'm going away."

"Manav is right.." agreed Atya. "And if all of you will mope and sit with a long face, he will just be more worried for all of you.. Vandu, go and wash your face now, go.."

Vandita got up and went inside. After she went, Atya looked back at the rest of the family members.

"I know this is not an easy time.", she said in a grave voice. "But it is such incidents in life that go on to show the importance of a family.. now we have to handle the situation together as a family- else it is our failure."

No one said anything.

Atya cleared her throat. "All of you know there have been a lot of problems in the house in the last few days- financial problems, personal problems, health problems. But now we have to settle all this together- and each family member is important here. We have told you all this so that each member realizes and takes up responsibility. For once, realize the gravity of the situation we are in. Our mutual fights will make us weak."

With that Atya got up and went inside.

Manav too couldn't tolerate being in the depressing atmosphere for long. He felt sad to see them gloomy, and figured that they too would be reminded of the surgery and illness every time they looked at him. "I'm going to the garage," he said finally. He looked at Damodar Baba, who nodded that he would manage the kids. He placed a hand on Vedant's shoulder, gave a small smile, and then left.

He had not walked out of the garage when someone stopped him from the chawl, asking him about something related to the Ganpati Puja. He was pleasantly surprised- people hadn't been talking to him this coolly since the harassment complaint. What had changed?- he wondered, but before he could dwell further on this, something else disturbed him- the sight of Savita Aai walking hastily out of the chawl. She almost bumped into someone else, angrily shouted at him to get lost, and rushed out.

"God help whomever she is going to confront.", thought Manav.

************************************************

Archana felt gloomy as she mopped the floor- the silence in the house was depressing. She was suddenly brought out of her thoughts by her neighbour, who rapped on her windowsill.

"Call for you." , she said.

Archana nodded with a smile, wiped her hands on a rag and proceeded to the neighbour's house to answer the phone call. It was Vaishali.

"What happened Vaishali, anything urgent?"

"Yes Tai," said Vaishali anxiously. "I called to ask if Savita Kaku reached back safely.."

Archana was shocked. "Reached back safely? Did Aai come there Vaishu?"

"Yes, she did. And she was very angry so I just thought of asking.."

"Vaishu, what did she say?" asked Archana with great fear. She heard a sigh on the other end. "Did she say something to Aai, or about me, or.."

"Nothing like that.", said Vaishali. "She only bashed up Manjusha Vahini."

!!!!!!

Then Vaishali went on to describe how Savita Aai had angrily pounded on the Karanjkar door, shouting to be let inside, until all the neighbours had gathered. Once the door was open, she had stormed inside and shouted at Manjusha, demanding how the 'wretched woman' could have even thought of throwing Manav in jail when she already knew of his illness and medical condition. And had demanded how the Karanjkars could have supported their daughter in law after that, how they could have let her live in the same house as them. True, Savita had been bad to Archana, but how could they have been so merciless to Manav? Hadn't they known that the complaint would have resulted in Manav being thrown in prison too? What if they had not been released so easily? Even if they had done to protect their daughter, then couldn't they have taken an alternative route for Manav's sake at least?

"She didn't spare anyone.", said Vaishali. "She said that we were a hypocritical bunch who didn't deserve to criticise her after the way we ourselves behaved with Manav jeeju. She said that there is no major difference between us and her- she treated you badly, and we treated Manav Jeeju mercilessly- so we have no right to behave hoity toity. She said that now she doesn't care about how she would behave with you. Aai was left hyperventilating."

Archana smacked her forehead.

"And before leaving, she said she would slap Manjusha Vahini if she dared to shed crocodile tears in front of her."

"At least there was no public debacle this time," sighed Archana.

"Could it be any more public, Tai? She was shouting so badly that I'm sure the neighbours have heard everything anyway."

******************************************

Savita returned home sometime later, still grave and serious, only to find everyone glaring at her. She too gave them some fiery looks.

Manav who had come home from the garage for lunch, spoke up. "What was the need to go to the Karanjkar house and.."

"Aye you shut up!" she said dismissively. "Don't you start defending them now. If you defend them, and especially Manjusha, I will give you the slap which I have promised to give her."

Manav was shocked for a moment. He could see Damodar Baba smirking from his corner, and gathered himself.

"When will you stop this behavior of yours?" he said, perturbed. "Does it look nice to barge into everyone's house and behave in this manner?"

"At least I'm better than those hypocritical folks!" she shouted. "They knew everything about you and yet have the gall to stand by their daughter in law who threw you in prison unfairly! If my daughter in law had done something like that I would have thrown her out! Not once have they reprimanded her and not once have they apologized."

"Archana's Baba came and apologized.", said Damodar quietly.

"Ah good!" said Savita Aai. "Good then that I didn't shout at that nice man! Now at least I won't feel guilty for nothing. My hands are still twitching to slap that Manjusha. I controlled myself simply bcos I don't want any more trouble for anyone."

"Thankyou for that!" said Manav in an annoyed voice. "The matter was settling down, why did you have to stir it up again?"

"Manav please calm down.." said Archana, trying to make him sit down. Manav shrugged and walked into his bedroom. Things were going on just as he had expected. He had hoped that his Aai would stop making things difficult after coming to know of his illness- but it seemed to have backfired. When would his Aai stop her antics? When would she understand that the world was not their chawl, that she would fall in trouble if she kept getting into catfights every now and then. And that too at the Karanjkars. Manjusha would surely throw a fit again- she wouldn't leave the matter here for sure. Not that he cared for her anyway.

At least this time Savita Aai had gone to fight for him, spoke a voice in a corner of his mind. Just like old days, she had fought for him. Surprisingly, the fact did not make him happy.

It just ended up making him more sad, wishing that he could erase all that had gone wrong between Savita Aai and him.

**************************************

"Here now," said Vandita, handing Savita a glass of water. "Calm down, my Jhansi ki Rani Aai."

Savita accepted the water, muttering angrily. She calmed down a few minutes later, and asked Vedant again, "Are people still badmouthing me in the other room?"

"Haha, of course not Aai!" said Vedant, smiling a little. "I think somewhere, secretly, they are all pleased that you gave it back to the Karanjkars- everyone in this house has wanted to do it for quite some time, but of course, no one did.."

Savita looked pleased. "I know, no one would have done it.", she said. "I frankly don't care if Manjusha throws me in jail again by making another false complaint. I just didn't want her to get away with everything so easily. I'm sure all her neighbours know that I shouted at her and why I did so, haha!"

"You're pleased about it?" asked Vandita, amused by her Aai's childlike happiness.

"Of course.", she said proudly. "After all, she has made my Manav suffer so much.." The mention of Manav made Savita return to serious mode. She went back to thinking.

"What happened?" asked Vedant.

Savita looked at both of them with a troubled face. "I am very worried about your Manav Dada.", she confessed.

For it was true. Ever since she had come to know about it all, she had been worried. Her first reaction had been of horror, then disappointment at not being told, (whereas Archana and her family had known), and then extreme anger about the way Manav had been treated. How could they have troubled him when they already knew how worried he was? She hated those Karanjkars from the bottom of her heart for not having thrown Manjusha out as yet. She could still understand why they hated her, but Manav? He had always been so good to them! Now nothing on earth could ever make her forgive them, she decided.

As the truth of Manav's illness started sinking in, she looked around at the other aspects of the situation. Would he recover completely? How much would it cost? How would they arrange for it? She was an illiterate woman who had no knowledge of all this, and this gave rise to more and more fear in her mind. She spoke about it to Vedant now, telling him that she didn't even know what a brain tumour was, except that in Hindi films, the hero/heroine was always shown to be dying if they had brain tumour- that it was a dreaded illness.

Vandita who had herself been crying a few minutes back, now tried to console and comfort her mother, while Vedant tried to explain whatever he knew about brain tumours, and Manav's illness.

"I was a little worried, so I asked for some more info and then went out to an internet caf and researched it online." He took out some papers from his bag. "See, I even brought it back in print."

He then explained to her what was written, about meningiomas, that they were rarely cancerous (it took him some time to explain to her what a cancer actually was) and that not everyone died of brain tumours- that it was curable. Savita felt more relieved as he told her about it, and calmed down. So did Vandita.

"I hope it's all as you say.." she said.

"Oh yes," he said. "I'm not cooking it all up on my own.. this is what the doctor too said."

"Okay.", said Savita. The next moment she looked up in wonderment. "When did you meet the doctor?" she asked sharply.

Vedant shifted uncomfortably. "I didn't meet." He said. "I was worried and nervous, so I asked Archana Vahini cos Baba told me that she had met the doctor. She consoled me and explained me the way the doctor had explained her. That made me feel better. She also showed me Dada's report, saying I would anyway understand it better than Dada or her. Though I could not understand it, yet I picked up some keywords- "Meningioma, cancer, craniotomy"- etc, and tried to search for it on the net. Maybe you should speak to her too.."

Savita looked angry. So Archana had even met the doctor, where as she herself hadn't even known about anything. "Why did you have to ask her?" she shouted. "Why couldn't you ask Manav?"

"Manav Dada was in the garage," Vedant explained, hoping his Aai would stop shouting.

"And I suppose you took the money too from her?" she asked.

"Yes,' I mean no.." he stammered, realizing he had got himself into trouble. Unable to face his Aai, he quickly got up and walked out of the room, reminding himself to stay out of her way the whole day.

"There you are!" Archana called out, walking to him. "So did you find anything else on the net?"

He bolstered up a smile somehow, took out the printed sheet and the leftover money from his pocket and extended it to her. She took the sheet of paper and returned the money to him. "Keep it." , she smiled. "You might need it again later."

''Thank you." He replied back in a small voice, praying that his Aai hadn't seen them. He didn't want to give the impression of taking sides in this whole affair and in turn, make things difficult for himself.

"Arey wait.." she said, calling him back. "I might have trouble understanding all this, you know my limitations, will you explain it to me?"

"Yeah okay.." he said uncomfortably. "But not now. Please."

And he fled from the spot, leaving her wondering.

******************************************

Evening came and still things looked glum. As Manav glanced at his family members in the evening Aarti, he couldn't help feeling disappointed. They had all been silent when he had returned home, not spoken much, given him loving looks mixed with fear and the house had been like a graveyard. He was not used to being such. Yes, things had been going wrong in the last few days, but at least the children's behavior had retained some normalcy. Now it was as if he was living in a different house altogether.

After the aarti, he had planned to go to his own garage and sort out some issues regarding the storage of goods. However, he decided to sit for sometime after the Aarti with everyone else, and then go for his work in the garage.

He sat on the duri with the rest of the people. The hosts for the evening programme of Antakshari had come up and were asking people to register for teams. He looked around at the humm of the crowd and his own silent family. He gave a large smile to Vandita and shifted closer to her.

"Have you decided about your dance?" he asked.

"Vandu is going to dance?" asked his Atya with surprise. "Good thing that I came down to Mumbai from Delhi, else I would have missed it."

Vandita have a small smile. "I'm not in the mood to.."

"Oh come on!" said Atya. "You must perform! All the kids will be showing their talent.."

"Not this year, Atya.." persisted Vandita. She tried to make an excuse. "I haven't rehearsed enough.."

"Oh well, then how about taking part in Antakshari?" asked Manav, pointing to the stage. "You and Vedant can take part as a team and we will cheer."

"Vedant has locked himself up with his books.", said Vandita. "He didn't study anything the whole day and now he is trying to make up for it."

"Call him down." Said Manav. "Let him study Dada," said Vandita.

"Baba, how about you?" he said, hoping his Baba would take cue.

Thankfully for him, Baba understood. "Yes of course! This time again, the Deshmukhs will defeat everyone and win!"

"With whom will you take part?" asked Vandu. Every year, Damodar Baba formed a team with Sachin and cleared several rounds of the Antakshari. This year, options were limited. Manav had to go to the garage and couldn't stay back till the final round, Savita had told she wouldn't be taking part in the chawl functions at all, and Vandu and Vedant weren't in the mood. It would have to be Atya, Vandita thought.

Unfortunately, when the programme started, Baba was nowhere to be found. "He must have vanished to have a swig from his bottle.", murmured Atya angrily. "Oh well, come Archu we'll take part together."

"Me?" said Archana, shocked. She looked at Manav, hoping he would say something, but he said nothing. "Go on!" he said, when he saw Archana staring at him with a nervous face.

"I can't sing.." she whispered. But she felt awkward in refusing Atya, who had cheerfully pulled her towards the stage.

"I don't know many songs, and this is my first year.. will the rounds be difficult?" she asked nervously. "I don't know too.", said Atya. "I've never taken part.. let's see what happens."

They went to the podium to take part in the first round, which was the simple Antakshari round- sing a song with the last alphabet. While Archana, nervous to see so many people in front of her, couldn't recollect songs, Atya sang really old songs which many had not heard. Some boys boo-ed in the crowd.

"Aye chup! Sit quietly!" scowled Manav while Vandita gave them a dirty look. Scared of Manav, the boys sat down on their seats. Vedant who had come down when he came to know about Atya participating, sat down to watch. "Chalo finally Vahini's account had also opened.", he murmured, as Archana tried to sing 'Chaiya chaiya' to the best of her ability, and felt embarassed when she couldn't do justice to the high notes.

The second round was bad. The hosts played a tune and the teams were supposed to identify it. One by one the tunes were played, but each time Atya and Archana were late in pressing the buzzer.

"They're going to be last if this continues." Said Vandita with a raised brow.

"We need to save the Deshmukh reputation now," said Vedant, seriously, as if it were a matter of life and death. His ears perked up as he heard the next tune. "This is from Humraaz. Here, here.." he waved his hands, but they couldn't see him. "I will sit nearer to the stage and prompt from there." He said and got up.

Manav hoped Archana would look at him. He saw Vedant prompting from the stage, and people objecting in protest. Vedant however fought with them and stayed rooted at the spot.

The next tune played quickly and one of the teams identified it wrongly. This time Manav prompted from the back that it was a song from Don, and Archana recognised it quickly. With their points increasing, their confidence too increased and she and Atya identified two songs on their own, while Manav continued prompting from the back and Vedant from the front.

"Sathiya.. tune kya kiya.." sang Archana.

One of the boys in the crowd shouted, "Cheating kiya!" Manav did a facepalm and hid his face in shame, while people around him howled with laughter.

One of the women whispered to her neighbour- "See, this is why I feel the complaint issue is not what it looks like. Cos from where I see it, things seem okay in the Deshmukh household. We all ought to give the Deshmukhs a chance. And anyway, when Archana herself doesn't seem to mind anything, who are we be judgemental and ostracize them?" Others nodded in agreement.

****************************************

Where was Damodar in the meanwhile?

He had gone away for a while, only to get engaged in a verbal duel with Savita, who was upset at his open support for Archana.

"That girl's parents threw our sick son in prison and yet you are openly supporting her." She snorted. "What kind of father are you?"

"A father who wants to see his son happy." Retorted Damodar. "And you know very well that Manav would be miserable without Archana. You know, he didn't even want to tell us all earlier, Archana convinced him to tell us."

"And you feel happy about that?" she asked. "I'm terribly upset that he told her first and not us."

"He didn't tell her." Damodar explained. "Tarun told her."

"Then I'm angry with Tarun."

"Oh stop it now you." Said Damodar irritatedly. "Instead of taking offence at the fact that Archana came to know first, think about why your son didn't come to you."

Savita turned away.

Damodar continued. "Leave aside this fact and focus on Manav now. Your actions have hurt him a lot, more than the complaint by the Karanjkars, in fact. If you care even slightly about him, then instead of going and fighting with Karanjkars or waging a war against Archana, focus on Manav. Mend things with him."

"You don't teach me." She scowled. "I will deal with him myself. And don't utter that Manjusha's name in front of me again. It makes my blood boil."

Damodar laughed. "Have control on your anger. Very soon, Manjusha will have to eat a humble pie."

Savita was curious. "How?"

****************************************

Things were better at dinner that night. Everyone had stopped moping by this time, trying to accept the situation and made an attempt to have some light talk. Atya sat with Vandita and Vedant after dinner, talking on everyday matters, while Manav repaired the swing in the balcony. He was also listening to the conversation in the house.

"What will you wear for your dance?" asked Atya, caressing Vandita who lay with her head in Atya's lap.

"Not thought about it.. we might have to go shopping.."

"We shouldn't spend much Vandu.." Atya started. But Manav gave Atya a look which pleaded her not to talk about expenses right now. Anything to ease the situation. Atya frowned- she didn't like it when Manav did something like this.

"I will need a navvari sari to do a Lavani dance," she said thoughtfully.

"Take it from your Aai.."

"Aai has very sober colours.." said Vandita, "I need something that is more vibrant."

"I have a navvari." Said Archana suddenly, who had been cleaning the dining table. "Green in colour. Take it from me. I have matching bangles and other accessories that you might need."

Vandita looked at her, then at Savita and curled up in Atya's lap. "I don't want it."

"But Archana is willing to give you na, and you very well need one.. then why not take it from her?"

"I don't want her sari." Said Vandita obstinately. "I'd rather not perform."

"Listen Vandu.." Archana started, but this time Atya was firm. "Fine, don't perform." She said, annoyed. "We cannot spend on new things right now." Vandu walked inside unhappily.

"Atya now why did you do that?" said Archu. "Please convince her, I will give it to her and you talk to her saying it would make Manav happy, please do.."

"These kids are behaving a little too difficult now.." Atya exhaled deeply. "They will come round soon. We cannot force them to love me, right? We have to give them a little time." Said Archana. "How about asking them if they would like to go to Lal baugh Ganpati? It is said that what you wish for comes true.. tell it to Vandita.. maybe she will feel less scared about Manav's illness then.. I intend to go there too.. maybe she can come along.. and you too.."

"Tell it yourself." Suggested Atya.

Archana shook her head. "YOU ask her. If I talk, she will refuse straightforwardly. And I don't think it is fair to impose myself so much on them.."

From the balcony, Manav witnessed the whole scenario, distracted from the work that he was doing. Baba came and stood behind him. "Ahem!" he said loudly, and Manav immediately went back to work. Baba laid a hand on his shoulder. "She's nice na?"

"Nice? She's crazy." Manav shook his head. "Crazy to give people 'chances' hoping they 'improve' and become angels like her, crazy to view the world through rose coloured glasses, crazy to think that she can handle such a volatile situation by herself, crazy to think she can manage Aai' God what is to happen of this girl?"

"Oh come on Manav," said his Baba. "Learn to have some faith in the power of goodness."

"I do have faith in the power of goodness, love and all things nice. But I also know the power of all things bad. And I don't want anyone to hurt Archana or take advantage of her goodness. Have you seen how much of work Aai is heaping upon her? The poor girl hasn't got a moment to study the whole day today, despite the fact that it was a holiday. Aai took out all the bedsheets and put them in the laundry for her to wash and later iron as well. These kitchen politics are annoying me now. And everytime I talk about it to Archana, she asks me not to interfere."

"Hmm.. someone is too concerned." Said Baba. Manav looked up for a moment, then spoke back, "Of course I am concerned. Why would I not be concerned. Personal problems aside- she is still my wife, my responsibility, and will remain so till she is in this house. If Aai harasses her in any way- subtle or major, direct or indirect- I have to control it."

"Chalo, it is nice to see you are keeping an eye." Said Baba. "I was worried about how she would manage, but now it seems that Aal izz well! I mean, you are looking out for her, and on the other hand, she is also trying so hard to adjust in this house and win everyone over.. I'm glad things are going just the way I'd wanted."

Manav sighed. "Baba, I'm telling you again- don't keep your expectations very high.. I already told you of my disappointments with this marriage.."

"Oh I know all that!" said his Baba, waving his hand carelessly. "But you know, I've always believed in a line- 'Love doesn't need to be perfect, it just needs to be true."

Manav looked up.

"Mistakes will always happen from both sides in every relationship. Despite that, the relationship which stands, is the one which is truly worth being held in high regard. And you know what, I feel Archana has come back for good this time- and will wipe out every disappointment. Yes, she doesn't trust you. Yes, it looks like she came back bcos you were ill. Yes, there are serious problems between both the families. But inspite of that, she won't go back this time- I'm sure of it. You know Archana better than me, I'm sure, but I've seen lots of women in my life- and I've seen them stick to their resolutions through thick and thin, no matter what the circumstances be. Once they decide to do something, you can't break them! This applies to your late Aai, Savita and your Atya as well. I understand beta, you've seen way to many disappointments in this marriage, so you feel scared of this ray of light, just trust me- this time things will get better, I'm positive."

"Can I help you Dada?" asked Vedant. Manav nodded and asked him to hold the swing. "Well it's nice that you are so positive. I wish could be just as hopeful.." he trailed off.

"Oh don't you worry son!" said Baba cheerfully, putting his hand on Manav's shoulder. "Very soon all these dark clouds will go away. There is a reason we call the new bahu 'Grihalakshmi'. Till she wasn't here, all bad things happened. But I'm sure now things will turn round. You see, when everything gets right na, then I will host a big celebration."

"Celebration?" Manav asked. Vedant too looked at him with amusement.

"Yes! Do you remember what a nice celebration we had held to welcome Archana when she came into the house as a new bride? Do you remember how we had planned to celebrate the opening of your garage? Similarily, when our bad times go away na, then again we will host a party- A nice party, with all our close friends and family members- umm.. on your first anniversary, maybe?"

"Sachin Dada also?" asked Vedant in a small voice. Manav felt gloomy, but Baba ruffled his hair. "Yes, Sachin also.. who knows he will come back by then?"

Vedant cheered up on hearing this. Baba continued- "There shall be food and dance and we shall all make merry, I'm telling you, today we are feeling sad na that why are such bad things occuring in our life? Tomorrow, when we sit and analyse the good that has come out of it and how we stuck through thick and thin together and what all we gained from it, then we will feel nice about it.. a long time ago, there were financial problems in the house cos I had no job- but they made a man out of your Manav Dada, strengthened the love and bonds in the house, made us strong, right? When we remember those days, we don't just remember the poverty, we remember how we survived it laughingly and pride on ourselves for having emerged victorious out of everything. Same this time too."

Manav smiled to himself. Only his Baba could have given the experience of his own failure to drive home his point. There was no one like his Baba- he kept up hopes even in the most difficult circumstances and was always positive, albeit too much at times- but today it had proved to be a boon. Vandita who had now joined Vedant, accompanied by Atya, listened to Baba's words with interest.

"The day for celebration will also come." He said again. "..when we shall raise a toast to our happiness, and your marriage!"

Manav shook his head at his father's daydreaming. Silently he prayed to God, hoping that all his doubts be proved wrong, and somehow everything his father said would come true. How he hoped for it to come true- despite all his fears and negative thinking, and his reprimands to himself to see any more dreams.

One second- raise a toast?

He stared back at his father. "This means you will drink alcohol even on that day!" he muttered, annoyed.

Damodar was taken aback. The children giggled. "I was speaking of champagne.." said Baba.

"Champagne is also alcohol.", said Manav, frowning.

"Arey so what happens? Me and my son will raise a toast on that day.."

"Cut me out of the scene.", said Manav. ""No alcohol for me.. and for you as well.."

"Why not?" frowned Baba. "It is my party.. I will decide the menu.. and one does not become a drunkard by drinking on one day. People drink for the spirit of celebration!"

"No alcohol! If you keep alcohol I won't come to the party!"

"Why?"

"Cos I don't trust you! Who knows you or Sachin will make me drink something and then.. ewww..!!!"

"What are you saying 'ewww' for? Be a man! Haven't you seen in films? Every big celebration is incomplete without the champagne popping! And Champagne is classy! I'm willing to spend so much on a celebration on you instead of going for Desi Tharra, and all you say is 'Ewww''???"

"Arey what are both of you bickering for? Let us come to the stage that we can throw a party! Stop counting the chickens before they hatch!" said Atya, and both the children burst out laughing.

Manav made a loud 'Hmph' noise. "He can only think of alcohol all the time." He complained to Atya.

"Arey what wrong have I said? I was only planning for a celebration but you like finding faults in everything I do or say! You should in fact say that if everything goes right, then you will also let loose all your inhibitions and celebrate wholeheartedly with me. Gods listen when you make such.. erm.. mannat."

"Mannat? This is a Mannat? Please.. I have better ways to celebrate, in fact Baba.. why don't YOU keep a 'mannat' that you will give up drinking if God helps put everything back to normal? It would be constructive for all of us."

"Uff stop fighting now, come for dinner!" said Atya while Vedant and Vandita laughed at them. "They will never change. Atya, can I drink Dada's share of champagne in the party?"

Manav was horrified at Vedant's question but Atya coolly retorted, "Depends on whether you are 18 by that time.." and she led the children in. "How would Manav Dada behave if he gets drunk?" wondered Vandita aloud.

Manav and Baba stood watching them for some time. Finally Baba spoke, "Chalo, we'll also go for dinner." But before he could go in, Manav caught his arm. "Baba.." he muttered. Damodar turned in surprise. "What?"

"Thanks."

In return Damodar Baba simply gave an understanding smile and slapped Manav lightly on the cheek. "Anytime son.. come now, let's eat.."

*********************************

Manav was alone in his room that night, waiting for Archana. She was still working. Since morning, she hadn't had a moment to herself (or for him), he thought. How was she going to manage things tomorrow onwards, when it would be a working day again, he wondered.

He heard the door opening and he turned to look at her. He was surprised to see that it was Aai and not her. "Manav," she said urgently, sitting on the bed in front of him. "I really need to talk to you."

"What is it?" he asked, surprised by her manner. Aai looked pensive. All day today she had fought the urge to have a heart to heart conversation with him. And now, after her talks with Baba, she could wait no more. "Your Baba has just told me that he intends to do a defamation suit on Manjusha for the harassment complaint she did."

Manav was surprised. "When did he plan to do all this?"

"I don't know," she said worriedly. "But I only know that he has decided to make the complaint and Archu has said that she will testify. Please talk both of them out of all this."

"Why?" asked Manav with a surprise. Then he kept quiet. "Oh yes, I know, it will be embarassing when the court case will be only for me and Baba, not for you. People will draw conclusions about the complaint.. I agree.. in fact this is why I had not followed up the matter.. and.."

"It's not that!" said Savita, wringing her hands. "Manav, you know very well how that wretched Lokhande family is. You made a police case against Ajit for burning the garage, do you remember how much he troubled you for it? He even got you beaten by goons! Now if you make another court case against them, then do you think they will stay silent? This time you are already ill- I don't want any more problems for you beta."

Manav looked at Savita Aai's worried face for a moment and couldn't help feeling emotional. At least she had thought about him. It was obvious that she had been worried after hearing about the illness.

"In fact this is what I say about Archana too.", she said. "You and I both know why this police complaint was made against you- cos Archana returned. The Lokhande trio took revenge on you. Till Archana was away they were pretty silent. As soon as she came back to us, they started harming you again. Just break relations with her and.." she stopped when she saw Manav staring at her blankly. "What happened?"

"Okay, so basically you want Archana out.", he said. "And here I thought you were saying all this cos you were genuinely worried for me.."

She didn't know what to say for a moment. "Manav, you think I'm saying all this, making all these excuses to throw Archana out?" she said in a small voice. "Manav, I know, till today I've done a lot against Archana, and wanted her out of your life for my own selfish motives, wanted to break your marriage with her, I hate her- very frankly speaking, but this time I'm saying it keeping in mind your betterment only, not cos of my personal gains.. Keeping Archana in this house is no less than inviting danger and trouble from the Lokhandes- and that court case will only enrage them more.. at such a critical period, we should not try to act heroic and take risks."

"Well, didn't you think of all this before threatening Manjusha?" he asked quietly.

Savita slapped her forehead. "My mistake." She said. "My mistake, I admit. But a court case will mean taking things too far. Manav, please talk to your Baba and ask him not to do it.. and please separate from Archana- her presence in this house means more troubles for you- and right now I don't want any more trouble for you.. you are suffering too much anyway and we are not able to do anything for you.."

He looked at the scared face of Savita Aai, and exhaled deeply. He was touched by her concern, but what was he to say to her? How to explain that he was tired of going through the same thought process, the calculations, the analysing, figuring out a middle route etc, and what would he say to his Baba?

"You won't do as I say, right?" she said, half angrily, half-hurt. He gave her a tired look. "Can we talk about this tomorrow?" he asked.

"Fine. Go to sleep. I won't keep you awake.", she said in a small voice. She didn't get up though. She fought the urge to run a hand through his hair affectionately and tell him that whatever his decision might be, and whatever their current equation might be, his mother, his tigress mother was there for her little cub and would take care of him, but then got up. She had never imagined that such a day could come, that Manav wouldn't think of her worry, that he would doubt her intentions. Nor had she ever thought that she would be so far from her son when he needed her.

He wondered if he should say something more to her. "I'll be alright." He said, as if reading her thoughts, hoping it would comfort her. It had felt good to know that she worried about him. She nodded. Slowly she walked out of the living room. She was lost in her thoughts when a voice came from behind.

"Once there was a boy. Everyday he used to shout 'wolf wolf'. All the villagers got very angry with him. One day a real wolf came there. This time he shouted 'wolf wolf' again, but no one came cos they all thought he was lying just like always. The wolf ate up one of his sheep."

Of course, Manav's Baba! Who else could sprinkle salt on her wounds, thought Savita angrily.

"Shut up Damodar!" Atya chided him, who only smirked. "See Savita, this is why I had told you to make up with Manav earlier, now see where things have gone."

"I told you he has changed." Wept Savita. "He cannot see how worried I'm about him. He thought I want Archana out from his life for my selfish motives. Yes, I wanted it, I don't deny it- but this time I was thinking about his betterment, not mine. This time I was not trying to be selfish."

"That was only a momentary doubt keeping in mind your own past behavior- when you explained your stance, he didn't question it again." Atya pointed out. "Don't take it to heart now. And why did you have to bring up about Archana again?" asked Atya. "Savita, he needs you now, come on, you have to settle things between you and him now, enough of all this now."

"As long as that girl Archana is in this house, things will never be the same between Manav and me again." Cried Savita. "I want to put his head in my lap and talk to him, but as long as she is there, it will never be possible- my son is blind in her love now."

"There is nothing like that," Atya tried to explain to Savita. "But Savita you must help him handle the complications in his life than ask him to quit everything. You have to understand it is not easy for him to break all relationships with Archana just like that- we have to figure out solutions, we can't run away from difficulties, if we do that they will keep running after us. Both of them are trying hard. And just like you care about Manav and want to be with him, Archana cares for him too. Try and understand that she would want to be with her husband at a time like this. He needs everyone- he needs his family. Try to support both of them and help them instead of making him quit."

"Why is it so difficult for him to leave that girl who has stayed with him for just 15 days and left him after that?" Savita demanded. "I really want her to get lost now. I hate those Karanjkars and I hate her as well."

"She will never improve." Damodar shook his head. "Manav could have got rid of half his troubles by separating from this house, but he stayed on and didn't desert you. But you want to get rid of all troubles by breaking relations. This is the difference between both of you!"

"I'm not doing it for myself, it's for him!" she retorted. "This time I'm being the villain for him, not for myself."

 Atya gave them both a stern look. "Savita go to sleep. You've had a long day and you are probably tired now."

Savita didn't listen to Atya. She made a pretext and sat outside in the balcony for a long time, thinking over what to do. If only, if only Manav chucked Archana out of his life- she thought. It would ease everything- his blind love for her, the tensions between Manav and Savita, involvement of Lokhandes in his life, his current crop of problems- everything. If only Archana would go away.

She saw Archana coming out of the kitchen with a cup of tea in her hands. She stood up menancingly.

"Why have you made tea at this hour?" she demanded.

"I have to do my night school studies." Said Archana. She kept the tea cup on the dining table and assembled her books. She was just preparing to sit down when Savita switched off the lights.

"I am reading.." Archana protested.

"No need to increase the electricity bill." Said Aai.

"Well, it's me who is handling the expenses of the house now," said Archana firmly. "I will compensate for it at some other place.

Savita fumed. "Study in the kitchen. Don't study here. You know very well that Vedant and his Baba will sleep in this room."

"Vedant himself studies till late at night.." Archana pointed out. "I thought we could sit together at the table and read. Baba is used to sleeping in the light."

Savita looked at Vedant who was getting his books ready. "Vedant go to sleep."

"But.."

"I SAID GO TO SLEEP!" she gave him a stern glare. After the morning debacle, Vedant had no intention to get on her wrong side again. He quickly lay down on the bed. Savita gave Archana a victorious look, switched off the light and went to sleep. If Manav didn't chuck her out, she would make sure that Archana went back on her own. She had her own ways.

Disappointed, Archana got up and took her books. She went in the bedroom to get a mat so that she could sit in the kitchen.

"What are you looking for?" Manav asked when he found her searching everywhere. Archana told him.

"But why in the kitchen?" asked Manav.

"No one will get disturbed this way.", she said, looking about for a mat. "Vedant and Baba are sleeping in the drawing room."

"Tell me, did Aai say anything?"

Archana straightened up. "Do you have antennas?" she asked incredulously.

"No, I just have good ears, and Aai has a loud voice. Study here in this room. Don't study in the kitchen. If a rat or a cockroach comes out, then you will shout and wake the whole house."

"I'm not scared of rats.", said Archana defensively.

"Accha?" asked Manav, amused. "Okay, tomorrow, I shall catch a rat and gift it to you as a pet."

"Eeekkksss!!!" shrieked Archana. Manav hid his face. "Study here." He said.

"You have to sleep." She said.

"It's okay, I shall sleep with the sheet over my head- the light won't trouble me. Do you have the keys Aai gave you?"

Archana nodded.

"There is a trunk in the next room. Take out the old table lamp from it tomorrow." Archana nodded happily and settled down on the bed to study. Manav meanwhile turned on the other side, and was lost in the world of dreams in a few minutes.

He woke up early in the morning at his usual time. As he woke up, he saw Archana sleeping in a sitting position with a book in her hands. Her face looked tired, and she was sleeping like a pretty little angel. He looked at her for a while and then sighed. God knows for how long she had slept. And now she would get up to do the kitchen chores again. Doing all the household chores alone, coupled with her studies and a job was beginning to affect her, he felt. It was but natural. Keeping in mind her plans to save money for the household, she would refuse to keep a maid, he was sure of it, but still decided that he would talk to her about it.

This was one issue which needed to be looked into at the earliest, he thought. But as of now, he looked up at her again, took the book from her hands and helped her into a more comfortable position, brushing away her hair as it fell over his shoulders. He covered her with the sheets and switched off the light, leaving her to sleep a little while longer as his own day started.

XXX

 

So that was part 77! Now go to the next page for part 78. :D



Edited by nikitagmc - 15 February 2012 at 2:08am

The following 12 member(s) liked the above post:

AditiDAnijoyce--Minks--curry-sistahLuvSSeverstefanandreshootingstar27Guggu_Mintymoon_mineAthena.sushkita10lunza

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Posted: 14 February 2012 at 12:55am | IP Logged
Thank you so much Niki for the fabulous V day gift Hug
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Clapthank u so much niki for wonderful PR if it would bDay Dreamingso simple and touchy scene.missing sushita and old PRCryCry

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